UK-based Silverstream Technologies has completed trials of its air lubrication system, Silverstream System, on Grimaldi Group’s newbuild Ro-Ro vessel, named Eco Valencia.

During the initial performance testing, the system led to fuel and emissions savings of about 5.1%.

The testing was initiated after the vessel entered service in the Mediterranean.

For measuring fuel and emissions savings, the system was tried out at several vessel speeds and in various sea states.

The company stated that the technology generates a thin layer of micro-bubbles over the flat bottom of the hull, which reduces the frictional resistance between the water and hull.

Eco Valencia is the first of nine Grimaldi Green 5th Generation (GG5G) designed vessels that will feature the Silverstream System.

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Four of the vessels, namely Eco Valencia, Eco Barcelona, Eco Savona and Eco Livorno, have already been constructed with the technology on board at China Merchants Group’s Jinling Shipyard.

Silverstream Technologies CEO Noah Silberschmidt said: “We would like to thank Grimaldi for their continued confidence in the Silverstream System. We are proud that our technology plays a central role in these pioneering environmentally friendly ship designs. We look forward to testing further Systems on the GG5G fleet, starting with Eco Barcelona, in the coming weeks.

“All of this takes place against the backdrop of impending vessel efficiency requirements, such as the IMO’s proposed Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI), which further amplifies the central role that clean technologies must have within shipping’s decarbonisation pathway.”

Grimaldi Group AirLub design and integration project manager Alberto Portolano said: “The successful trial of the Silverstream System and the CO₂ reduction that it generates is an important step in Grimaldi Group’s aim to lead on shipping sustainability. The trials conducted with the ship in fully loaded service showed the air bubbles covering the entire hull bottom. We are looking forward to continuing to work closely with Silverstream to benefit from their technology on more of our market-leading Ro-Ro vessels.”

Silverstream will also deploy the technology on Grimaldi Group subsidiary Finnlines’ five ships, which consist of three newbuild GG5G Ro-Ro vessels and two recently ordered Ro-Pax vessels.